Montreal boroughs square off with city over snow removal

Montreal snow wars
WATCH: A battle is brewing over snow removal operations on the island with elected officials in Anjou and Saint-Leonard calling on Mayor Valérie Plante to do more. Global's Tim Sargeant reports.

Elected officials in some of Montreal’s boroughs are frustrated with snow removal operations this year.

Several point to a snowfall last November when Mayor Valérie Plante’s administration decided not to cart the snow away.

Montreal’s public works director went so far as to email the public works director of Anjou telling him that if Anjou wanted to remove the snow, “Your borough is responsible to assume the costs of this operation,” André Hamel wrote in a copy obtained by Global News.

“I don’t have that money,” Anjou Borough Mayor Luis Miranda told Global News in response.

Miranda is upset with how snow removal operations are handled.

WATCH: Montreal mayor demands boroughs up their game when it comes to snow removal

Montreal mayor demands boroughs up their game when it comes to snow removal
Montreal mayor demands boroughs up their game when it comes to snow removal

The central city is responsible for snow removal operations — something Miranda says leaves the boroughs at their mercy.

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“If the city doesn’t permit you to take it away, you’re done,” he said.

Miranda would like all snow removal operations to be de-centralized meaning the boroughs would take charge of snow removal in their districts, but with a budget from the city.

READ MORE: Montreal, Pierrefonds-Roxboro mayors face off over snow removal

Montreal city councillor Dominic Perri representing Saint-Léonard West agrees.

He says when Plante refused to pick up the snow following a significant fall last November, it led to all kinds of problems.

“Snow that fell down in November, December was never picked up. She refused to pick that snow up. It froze, it became ice. It blocked the sewers. Today, the ice is like cement. It’s like concrete,” he said.

READ MORE: Montreal will not launch snow removal operation after Wednesday snowfall

Snow removal operations following the latest fall have begun and in an email to all 19 boroughs, Plante wrote, “My expectations are very high and I do not accept an inadequate execution.”

Local officials just hope the mayor has learned her lesson and that all the snow is removed from city streets and sidewalks the next time a significant snow fall occurs.

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